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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 19, 2013 11:30am-1:31pm EST

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perceive brazil's leadership being perceived in other parts of the region? >> >> that is a great question. inzil tries to be careful terms of how it deals with its neighbors, largely because he recognizes that it's bigger ambitions are expressed through salek, but especially uniscor. withs to be managed respect and understanding for the concerns of other countries. it tries to present itself not as a hegemonic force but as a coalescing force in the region. this is not easy when you're as they cast brazil. resilience like to point out that even border on france --
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brazilians like to point out even border on france. complicated diplomatic dance and is made more complicated by the relationships and the trade challenges that brazil faces with argentina because they tend to overload some of the circuits in the structures that they have. but the resilience work very hard at this. brazilians work very hard at this. the efforts from our point of view are positive, whether it is in central america or the caribbean community. these are all efforts that facilitate dialogue and for thes that -- broader hemisphere. to ahe biggest impediment
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brazil that dominates south america is largely its inability to open its markets. if brazil could open its markets, the andean countries never would have done free-trade agreements with the united states, or least not with the speed that they did them. they would have done agreements with brazil. when the mexicans realize they have been organized of latin america and they were not part andhe caribbean community, they launch their own initiative, that was all about putting themselves back into the region. the most interesting diplomatic move of recent times has been mexico's joined the pacific alliance. that put mexico into south america in a way that i think many never anticipated and created the possibility of a connected series of free markets
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along the pacific coast, all facing asia, without a u.s. presence or driving purpose that i think ultimately would be challenge is the wrong word embracebrazil tends to challenges. i do not think this is a challenge to brazil so much as it is something that it has to understand and address in a way that reflects the concerns of the members of the alliance. >> yes. my name is steve and i'm here on behalf of the u.s. travel association and want to thank you for your opening remarks about booming demand in both directions for both business travel and leisure travel. and in that context i think it
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should be mentioned how commendable it is the enormous effort the and this he -- e mbassy has done to bring down enormous delays in wait times for brazilian applicants for u.s. visas. those wait times are down over 90% and it makes a big difference. we all hope and expect will continue to rise. the question of the visa waiver program. as you are aware, the first south american country will be admitted to the program this spring. a year and half ago after as press was in her zeal -- in brazil, state departments were established to set up so-called roadmaps pre-discussions knowing
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that the conditions are not yet agreementor an actual but to lay the groundwork. it is not clear to many of us were that all stands, particularly after october. the spirit of looking forward and consensus that you have described here, described what the path forward may be there. >> sure. happy to do that. as we try to understand the demographics in brazil and what has been driving this demand is visa, theese is -- growth in the middle class was seen as one of the reasons why we were seeing such a sharp rise. as we look at the issue were closing, we realized that really wasn't true. and of the new middle class
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trends when not traveling to the united states. they were still traveling inside brazil. we were seeing increased travel but upper-middle-class. because they had more disposable income and they had developed an interest in travel. even though we had to run really hard in order to fashion a visa process that reduced wait times down to two days and accommodate the many brazilians traveling to the united states, we recognize that there is a new group of entrance into the middle class that have yet to attempt to travel to the united states but that they are coming. it is kind of like a roague wave out there. it is in the middle of the ocean and not stopping. consularxpanding our sections and the number of officers we have in building out
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the interview windows we have, we are building a capacity to to 2 millionillion visas a year. i personally do not think that is enough, if this rogue wv us.keeps coming at if the brazilian economy takes up in terms of growth and people can suc consolidate themselves d that is where the visa program becomes important. both countries have to keep working at it. there was hesitancy to address the visa waiver program. their experience in spain and portugal has not been a happy one. that people turned around at ports of entry.
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that they have to turn around and go back and the resilience were looking for assurances that they would not repeat the experience is in lisbon and madrid -- the brazilians were looking for assurances that they would not have repeat experiences in lisbon and madrid. is not that we ask for information about travelers. we do want governments to give us a thumbs up or a thumbs down, whether they are at risk or not. and this is very hard for the brazilians to do legally. it requires them to dig through databases that are not easily connected right now. but secondly, to share risk
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assessments that they doubt they are legally allowed to do. we think there is a way forward on this and we think we can solve these problems. it is going to take some hard work on both sides. we think there is some urgency to it. >> i am getting there. >> thanks. i work with many multinationals that operate in brazil and for them the cost of doing business is quite high. a lot of the cheap credit is available and another measure is no in the local tax regime and where to set up local production. which way does the u.s. plan to advocate for these u.s. based multinationals? the return investment is not year timeve- or seven-
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frame. >> it is not just people coming in from the outside. one of the striking things is they will land american companies if they are based in brazil. without a doubt, there is an overhang in the economy that needs to be addressed to promote not just brazilian companies from helping generate increased growth but also the growing presence of global companies and global investors. and some of this has to do with the legal costs and the records were costs. large foreign commercial presence in brazil and a very skilled one that operates out of all of our and disease and is prepared to help all american countries that are interested. many of the multinationals come down with their own resources
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and can manage their way through a lot of this. but many companies are coming in fresh. we are seeing with companies to delegationsth state but by governors is a great interest in selling into the market are being present but little understanding about how to do it. that is where we can play an important role. we can try to look for brazilian partners. is a countryazil where the extent to which you workingzilian partners with you will make it a lot easier. americane we give to companies when they come down is first and foremost take on the dictum that brazil is not for beginners, that it is a complex and conductivity country and in many's ways -- many ways it is like an archaeological dig.
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navigating that can be challenging for some businesses. , brazil does not for sure timers. it is not for people who are going to come in and come out. it is for people who are prepared to make a long-term commitment, simply because it does take a long time to establish yourself and to find a way forward. we believe even the direction that brazil is going and given the platform that it could be for exports into the region and beyond, it is attracted to american industries. have clearwe instructions from the president and from the secretary of state and the secretary of commerce, that our number one is commercial diplomacy. this was my priority. i'm sure it is the priority of
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the new ambassador to brazil. iowa recommend that you work for closely with the embassy and our consulates because we'll provide all the help we can. >> paul johnson. thank you so much. always a pleasure to hear you talk. over the years about opportunities for trilateral cooperation between the united states and rozelle and africa -- and brazil and sub-saharan africa. what are the prospects for some of the meat on the bones in terms of financing and trade investment, industries like agriculture, infrastructure, health. i just wanted to hear if thoughts on that. thank you. >> no, thank you. it is great seeing you.
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there are lots of possibilities. we began our trilateral cooperation in an effort to eradicate malaria but have extended that to mozambique, where we're doing some important work on the agricultural productivity side. we are working with the brazilian in honduras and haiti on some other projects. this is brand-new for us and for the brazilian. working through their brazilian cooperation agency has been an interesting and fruitful experience. it is a small agency. it is staffed largely --brazil does not have the hydrant of professionals that one would imagine in that kind of an agency but it is building them over time. we have created an interesting relationship where we have
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.xchange officers as we try to get a better feel for how both sides work and where there might be synergies and connections. and we are interested and excited about extending that possibility. has somethat brazil really interesting things to offer. countries in africa and elsewhere. brazil does have some legal on hownt or constraints far it goes in this kind of cooperation, especially related to how moneys flow back and forth between the government and abc and how it does its development assistance abroad and in some cases it is aid that is paying for brazilian services in some of these countries. but we think over time as brazil
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built out its programs, it is going to begin removing these barriers or streamlining them in a way in which abc and the brazilian government can do more. discussions about joint financing of projects, especially where there is a u.s. and a brazilian partner. it is competent to a certain extent by rules and regulations. we continue to try to find a way forward on that because the potential is huge. >> i might just add that outside the private sector and government gates foundation has engaged with the brazilian government and ministry of in an ambitious program to send retired, distinguished agricultural
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scientists, economists to help with small farms, the development of small farms and farm practices in africa. very promising effort. >> thank you. margaret. >> thank you very much. i was one of those brazilianist as that was brought up a long time ago. inn i first went to brazil the 1970's, one of the points of attrition between the united states and brazil was a nuclear question. you mentioned the kerfuffle with lulawith the administration. have we gotten over that previous, that last irritation and is the treaty for the south american countries possibly a
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weaponsr the kind of nonproliferation regime that we in the middle east and other areas? is this an area where we might see more cooperation? iran.are way over we got over that one pretty quickly, actually. i think that brazil has been a very useful partner. brazil has never been happy with sanctioned regimes but it complies with them faithfully. i think importantly, especially under resident rousseff, the brazilian made clear that iran had a lot of explaining to do and if it
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wanted normal relationships would have to be respectful of un security council resolutions expressedsire repeatedly by the security council and elsewhere that iran address the concerns related to its nuclear program. brazil has been supportive publicly most recently of the agreement that they were able to fashion with iran. i think brazil sees this as a positive development. that is helpful. in that regard i think we are in a very good place right now. the latin american experience around nuclear liberation and especially the agreement between brazil and argentina to create kind of mutual verification was an innovative
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and important agreement and one that could be useful as we look at how we manage verification regimes elsewhere. ultimately the challenge we will face whether really or north korea is will be about verification and in that regard, oddly enough this is where intelligence is going to play an important role, because what we have seen over time is that especially in the nonproliferation side, intelligence is central to how we do our verification mark. much of it can be done publicly and by inspectors, not all that can be. as we think about the issues raised by mr. snowden, we need isunderstand that not all -
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about spying in our countries. much of it has to do with supporting larger international agreements. >> right there, yes. >> i am with georgetown university law center. thank you for your talk but even more so for taking so many questions. i have two questions. if you could shed some light on why president obama apologized to angela merkel but not for the spying. jesters have worked extremely well for the and presidentple, putin is considering reportedly a pardon for the pussy riot
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girls and the arctic sunrise crew. would you consider recommending to the government a pardon for snowden given that he is such a thorn in our relations with so many countries but particularly brazil? >> thank you for both of those questions. issues first appeared and especially when the allegations of head of government surveillance appeared ine treated the brazilian the same way we treated the germans, which is quite remarkable given whatever allegations were out there. and the brazilian understood this and i think appreciated in the wrong way because it was indicative of the importance of
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the relationship. relationshipsce with those countries are quite different. germany has much more equity in our intelligence community then brazil does, especially with troops participating in isaf. much of the protection comes from u.s. sources. i do not want to get into characterizing the conversation that president obama had with the chancellor. i will leave that to the white house. the germans have characterized that in one fashion and i am not sure the white house would agree with that. but what is important is that there has been communication several times between president obama and president rousseff about this and there will be communication about this in the future that addresses that
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specific issue. and so i think that given the circumstances, we are probably in as good a position we can be in terms of how we do our engagement in our country to country engagement. in terms of unexpected actions,, this was race briefly minutes"minutes -- "60 piece on the nsa. i think it is clear what the white house as said, but especially what the department of justice has said, that you should not expect an unexpected jester -- gesture. >> let me collect a few questions because we are coming to an end. we have two and then that is it. >> mr. ambassador, hi. i have served twice in brazil
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with u.s. aid. you talk about bilateral cooperation and talk about trilevel and you mentioned the opportunities in education and we have had major successes from the early 1970's with brazil, linking american and brazilian universities. theyhave come back and now are running those institutions in agriculture and health and other areas. you alluded to agriculture. i'm wondering about energy and environment. what opportunities for bilateral cooperation do you see? >> let's move to the next question. yes, there. >> i am with the house ways and means committee. success we saw a great led by a brazilian inspector
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general. right before that success was singed, it looked as though some would be theayers reason for the failure of the bali discussions. to what degree coming out of bali do you think that brazil's view of its own specifically trade leadership is changing from one in which it is a leader of the developing world to one in which it is a broker of some sort between the developing world and the developed world? >> let's come here. let's start with this. watch.n rights thank you very much for your remarks. you mentioned that you hope to build up constructive
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relationship with brazil, promoting common values like democracy and human rights. hopeful thatu feel can be effectively developed in our region, and particularly in south america, where a group of countries that i do not think they share the same views and the same values in terms of promoting democracy and human rights. it is critical that brazil plays a more effective role. how do you see that role developing in terms of working together constructively with the u.s. government in south america? >> thank you. and the last question, please. >> hi.
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i don't think you have time to answer my question. i will pose a perhaps as a comment. it has been wonderful to hear your remarks on a wide range of subjects. brazil is a continental country. i was wanting to ask if you could comment on some of the tensions within the country that come along with improvements in social inclusion and growth and improvements in economic well- being across the country instead of treating brazil as a single country that is doing remarkable things. what is happening in the different regions that have different opportunities? >> ok. thank you. all good questions. we have done something remarkable with our aid mission in brazil. it was on the chopping blocks, as it has been several times in our history. we were able to convince our
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colleagues in washington and elsewhere that now was the time tomove from and aid mission one that was a policy engagement mission. the idea being as brazil's economy expands, that we needed to be there working with them on a daily basis with the hope of helping to influence and shape how they did assistance work so that it was more compatible with what we were trying to accomplish, recognizing other have economies out there a different understanding in what foreign assistance is. and so far the dialogue has been really positive. a have been able to fashion third country assistance programs where we are able to share expertise and funding in order to accomplish common goals, and i think if we are
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able to do this right, it could create a new kind of development assistance diplomacy that we could deploy in other countries that have emerging or strong economies that are playing an increasing lee important role in subregions. we have pulled back on some of our historical roles in brazil, and our program today is focused on i/o diversey issues and climate -- biodiversity issues and climate change issues. we have a few alternative energy notrams, but this does represent the future of our developed assistance program. however, it does represent the future of our commercial engagement, our investment engagement, which strikes me to degree to which pharmaceutical companies are prepared to come to brazil and do agreements with rebuild -- with brazilian
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companies to build out a capacity for brazilian pharmaceutical companies. this is driven by the emerging middle class and that the man for high-quality health care in brazil. there, the synergies are just moving from the developing world into the commercial and investment world. bali,ing the wto and congratulations to the person who managed that event for the wto. it was in everybody's interests was the bali event successful, because having failed at this time would not have been in anyone's best interests. at itslly with azevedo head, there was a special need to play as much of a role of rocher as they could. brazil has had the
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kind of negotiations with two mentalities. one is trying to get the best deal possible. that is not going to work a then trying to assert leadership in some fashion and use the event as a way to assert leadership. but i think in this regard they recognize that they could do both. leader of act as a particular group of countries while at the same time brokering. i think they found a way to bridge that divide. with any luck they will be able to maintain that over time. in terms of human rights, a great question. it is one of the big struggles, that brazil faces, as it tries to find a way to express to its foreign policy what it means to be a democracy. in the region and the world. historically, result has been an adherent to principles of nonintervention and non- interference and self- determination of peoples and has been reluctant to criticize
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countries. because at one level it does not believe it should, but it also recognizes it is quite open to criticism. it does not want to open the door for reciprocal attacks and wants to build a protection, especially within inside regional and institutional organizations. i do not think that is a stance that it will be a will to maintain in the long term because as brazil globalize is, as it society mobilizes, resilience will wonder what it means to be a democracy in the world and how does brazil express that democracy. and the fact that internally you have got such a strong commitment to an open society, such a strong commitment to individual rights, is a very positive thing to work from. this is going to be an evolutionary process over time, and one we cannot give up on. we have to keep focused and
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pushing on it. with regard to the tensions within the country, result is a huge country, that of all the colonial entities that were established in the region, it is the only one that has held together. sure there is all kinds of linguistic and cultural reasons for that and demographic reasons for it, but although it is a big a diverse country its linguistics and its accents and its traditions and the ethnic city of its immigrants, at the same time there's something that makes everyone a resilient. that in many ways is what is remarkable about brazil and all even today, people in the southern part of brazil will be northerne of the
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part of result and vice versa. one can find the same thing in the united states. what is remarkable about brazil is that like the united states it is able through its diverse of the -- diversity that it can present an image of itself that everybody can understand, everybody knows they are resilience, and that is anna, richmond. >> thank you. i would like to remind you of something which this was the last event of our program this year, and i'm grateful to ambassador shannon and the others for being here and have helped participate in this. this sunday march the 25th anniversary of the assassination of mendez. chico mendez was not known in brazil when he was killed.
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is honored in brazil at the national institute for studies, policymaking in the amazon, one of the 26 national heroes of brazil. named by the brazilian congress. we have associated ourselves to a group of institutions that will host a memorial service this sunday at 4:00 at holy name catholic church on 11th street, the announcement on our website, and i hope that those that are interested can join us there. thankhat, i would like to ambassador shannon very much for being here with us, and i would like to thank you for having
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been with us throughout this that is closing now. we are very grateful to you. i wanted to recognize especially two people that have been wasing with me, michael who here yesterday, and annika cardenas, who is also working with us. thank you very much. happy new year. please, i would like to thegnize and with gratitude presence of ambassador thomas shannon your today. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> as this event wraps up, we will take you live to capitol hill, where democratic leaders will talk about the passage of the bipartisan budget cream yesterday and the senate legislative priorities for my 14. >> it has been a very eventful fall, to say the least. the highlight come in peace me, was a delicately crafted budget compromise led by senator murray . it is a step in the right direction, one of the first steps we have had in the right direction for some time. it moves us away from the lurches we have had to face, from crisis to crisis, and puts us on a path restoring regular order in the senate. the economy is based on what chairman bernanke said yesterday, and we can see all over, is picking up. it is as good as we would like it?
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of course not. this agreement divides -- provides the continued growth. for far too many americans, as you can say on -- see on this chart, the headlines of the positive economic news does not match the reality of their lives. even as the economy creates jobs , too many americans find themselves on the sidelines watching as the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class are getting squeezed and squeezed. there is no bigger challenge that income has inequality, and we must do something about. there are a lot of things that should be done, but the first thing is to make sure that those people who are waiting and waiting to find a job still get the important check that he -- that they deserve. on employment composition is something that is good for the
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economy. mark sandy has said for every dollar we spend for unemployment insurance we have a return of 80% growth in our economy. 50% growth in our economy. this is an issue in the past we have agreed on, but not now, and i'm very pleased, happy, and prodded my colleagues and senators who have introduced rhodeenator reed of island a bill. i hope my friends and colleagues will help to schedule a vote in a timely fashion, which to this point they have not. we have come to the floor, we have had other various people it if we are able to move forward, the answer is no. they have blocked us from scheduling a vote at the end of this week, and i will fly out culture on the way out -- i will file cloture on the out of this
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. i hope we can set this up before we leave, but if not, no later than january 6 or 7. it is the right thing to do for americans were looking for a job. long-term unemployment rate is twice now than it was when the benefits were allowed to expire. i repeat what mark sandy said. her member, mark sandy was john mccain's financial advisor when john ran for president, and he said every penny we spent on unemployment returns a yield in 50% in economic growth. this is the first. we need to raise the minimum wage, we need to do other measures that will help inequality in this country. we have income inequality. unemployment insurance is an important step in the days ahead, helping find common ground, and deliver the results of the american people that we used to do on a bipartisan basis and do very quickly. senator durbin? >> thanks, senator reid.
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a very brief time one man has made a profound impact on the world. that person is pope francis, who manecently named "time's" of the year. his statement was not just a message to america, but the world, that those in america should pay heed. leadsned income equality to an economy of exclusion and inequality, and a globalization of indifference. andhallenges all of us particularly channels as those of us who have been blessed with an opportunity to serve with public life in the united states senate. it challenges us to a knowledge the obvious. there are people who got up and went to work today and will go to work tomorrow and work every single day, very hard, and despite their best efforts, they are not making enough money to live to the next paycheck. they are below the level of poverty in america. that is unacceptable.
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it has been years since we raised minimum wage. americans know this intuitively, regardless of political party, that we have to give these at least a fighting chance to survive. that means when we come back here to make raising the minimum wage in america a high priority in the united states senate, and i hope in the house as well. this issue of unemployment million means about 1.3 americans are going to see their benefits cut. of000 in my home state illinois. for many of these people, unemployment benefits are their only source of income. it may mean the difference of whether they are homeless or have a place to live. 69luding workers'families, million people were supported by extended unemployment insurance and benefits. if we really care about working families and those who are on their way back to work, we have got to extend these complement benefits. the last point i want to make, if we are sensitive to needs of
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working families, we cannot ignore the burden that many of these families face because of student loan debt. i just completed a press conference this morning with elisabeth morin and jack reed. barbara boxer is joining us in this effort. it is time for us to tackle this unfair treatment of students and their families across america and economic burden it creates for them and the dragged it creates on our economy. when we return next year, we need to make working families our highest priority. >> senator schumer? >> well, there's no doubt it has been a tough year in washington. everything we have seen shows it. the budget agreement that passed the house and senate with senator murray's leadership offers a ray of hope. with passage of the budget, and speaker boehner's recent and refreshing rebuke of the hard right, there are positive signs that democrats and republicans can come together to solve the
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problems facing the middle class. we have a lot more work to do. but the first thing we need to do when we return is extend unemployment insurance to the millions of americans who stand to lose them in the coming year. the economy is making gains, yes, that over 4 million people are long-term unemployed in this country. look at the numbers over there, and you can see it. we have a lot more work to do. the extension of unemployment benefits will be the next test in the white between -- in the fight between the hard right and mainstream and service in the republican party. a should be aware the tectonic plates of our politics are the decline ofse middle-class incomes and the difficulty with average people getting good-paying jobs has only made the deficit our number one problem facing our country
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today. i republican colleagues should take note, certainly we will build on the progress we have made to reduce the deficit am a but it is no longer the most ,mportant issue that we face and the american people overwhelmingly agree with that. issues like job creation, minimum wage, and unemployment insurance are going to wait on the minds of voters far more than obamacare by the time that 2014 elections roll around. on minimum wage, it is unconscionable that somebody can struggle, andin a not "a life of dignity for their families. on unemployment insurance, people knocking on doors, as they are required to do by law, to try to find a job, should be cut off after 26 weeks? republicans have worked with us to extend unemployment benefits before, and they need to do it again. republicans have worked with us to raise the minimum wage
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before. they need to do it again. just an example, when president bush signed the latest round of emergency unemployment benefits intel law, yet -- into law, the unemployment rate was 5.6%. a half at point and lower than that. that was pushed forward by president bush. and now it is 7%? they cannot do it. -- they cannot do it? they better smell the coffee. the world is changing. the 2012 elections do not govern any longer. if republicans can find the will to extend unemployment benefits when it was 5.6%, they can certainly find the will to do it now. and so, a republican colleagues are going to have to make another choice and will have to make it very soon. tol they bend once again the extreme right and leave millions of americans struggling out in the cold?
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if they do, they will find it is to their political detriment and more important to the detriment of average people in this country. or will they seize on the recent archives -- bipartisan momentum and joined with democrats to provide the much needed boost our economy? i am hopeful there is a breath of fresh air in the capital, a new breath, and it will mean we can find common ground and provide this much needed economic relief. >> senator murray? >> well, i think we can all importanceok an that this week in reaching a bipartisan budget agreement for the next two years. we did a number of things that bode well for the next year. should american people that members of congress can work together, that we can listen to each other and get into a room and talk frankly without trying to hurt each other politically.
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by breaking to the partisanship, we ended the seemingly never ending cycle of lurching from one crisis to the next. third, we showed compromise is not a dirty word and there is a coalition at the center that is ready to make some sacrifices done.cally to get things and finally, and importantly, for ever's to contract -- for our efforts to continue to grow our economy, we give american families and businesses the certainly they need to grow. of course, there's a lot more to do. relations ofned by the cut -- by predictions of the economy this year. we are realizing that how fragile the economy is with millions of americans out of work. now is the time to redouble our efforts, not shrink from the challenges we face, because it all -- because all the economic predictions did not mean nothing if we do not continue to support policies that help our middle class. that starts with extending implement benefits for the
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millions of americans who will lose their benefits in the coming months. not only will these families lose benefits, but the nonpartisan congressional budget office has said that our economy will lose over 200,000 jobs if we do not extend these benefits. this is simply the right thing to do at a time when millions of american families continue to teeter on the brink where unemployment mains -- remains high. of bipartisans cooperation around his effort, and that is an encouraging signal as we head into the holiday season and the next session of this congress. my hope is that the next session will be squarely focused on improving the economy or middle class americans, rolling back $63 billion in sequester cuts in the deal we passed it today was a great step. ending the threat of a shutdown was an important step. but increasing the minimum wage and extending unemployment
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rights is) in the corner, and i hope that we will live up to that. >> any questions? >> senator reed, this year is going down as the least productive in congressional history. there are a lot of reasons for that. have you given some thought to how you as a leader and makes next year more productive than this one was? >> i think about it a lot. i met in the last few days with rand paul. i have spent a lot of time with him. and i have grown to really like him. otherhough he has political views, he wants get things done here. i find that throughout republicans. i think they want to get things done. i hope that is true. there are a number of people
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under public and side that are basically stopping everything. i will not give you names, but it is a handful of people. we are having all the problems with these nominations because of that. there's no reason we should not have a person that is second in charge of homeland security, which is an entity, which has been without leadership for so long, with all the problems with the irs, and we always have with irs, we need to have someone running that agency. so in answer to your question, i hope we can start doing things or did this last year has been totally obstructed. everything we try to do we have been stopped. we have spent an onrdinate amount of time nominations. the only thing we've gotten done since summer was implement nondiscrimination. i do not think anything else.
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the heating reserve. i forgot about that. that is why when senator murray was able to work with congressman ryan and come up with this piece of legislation -- that is how we used to do things around here. so i wish i had a magic wand to say i did not know things will be at her. i hope they will. i hope you want it to happen. >> can i get your take on the possibility of your former colleague scott brown running for senate in new hampshire? there is a person who is the finest person i have ever served in government with. i understand why she has had so much success in new hampshire. i do not know the northeast, but i know the west, and if someone moved from utah to run in nevada, would not go so well. i will not make a decision on that. >> on the defense bill, speaking of the way things used to be
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done, you have heard a lot of what critics, mainly on the republican side, have talked about in terms of processing and it is unprecedented, the lack of opportunities in the significantly amended bill. can you weigh in on that and this argument from them, why are we rushing this through? there's time to amend this? it through"? and understanding the statements by our republican colleagues are bizarre. the house is gone, they have gone home, and no matter how we got to this position we're in today, we have a bipartisan defense bill that is on the floor ready to pass. if we change one period, one comma, one sentence, we have no defense bill. this is an important piece of legislation, and we should pass it. we should have passed it last night. yes. >redeye and you hear.
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>> what is the urgency of confirming the person for the there is ann inspector general investigation ongoing against him? >> is this the man that put? is this the inspector general that quit? this is coming inside washington -- cunning inside washington politics. the department of homeland security was developed at a time of war, after 9/11. we consolidated 23 different government agencies to come up with the department of homeland security. napolitano left. were fortunate to confirm jeh johnson a few days
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ago. that agency needs leadership. tom carper has been good at pronouncing to the world on his speech to the floor why jeh are 18 and the other and why they should be approved quickly. >> you have been on the appropriations committee for a long time, and everybody is celebrating this budget deal, but if you look at the numbers, it is well below what you got in 2012. how difficult is it going to be to put the rest of the bill together and how disappointed who like well-funded agencies? >> we are in a divided congress, and we had to come up with a compromise that is not the one that i wrote in my budget that was passed, but it is a compromise, and the senate appropriations committee under the leadership of senator barbara mikulski are doing the best with what we have. this was a heck of a lot better
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than what the house republicans wanted us to do. we are working hard. senator urban and his committee and me and my committee are putting together bills that can best reflect the circumstances we're under. >> the alternative was -- >> terrible. >> could you elaborate on your conversation with senator paul? areas could be discussed for common ground? what were his interested areas? >> he has been interested in a number of issues for a long time. we are working on an issue dealing with bringing some of these huge sums of money that are overseas back here. he of course is very interested in the federal reserve. we spent a lot of time on that. he is a man that has a lot of very fixed ideas, and i join -- enjoyed my conversations with
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him. thanks, everybody. >> senate democratic leadership wrapping up 2013 and previewing the legislative priorities for 2014. senate is not done yet. you heard question about the defense authorization bill. isator john cordon of texas on the floor. he is talking about that $625 billion authorization bill which would provide $80 billion for the war in afghanistan and the 1% pay raise or troops. the final vote on the measure is slated for late the -- later this evening unless leaders decide to hold the vote today. that is live now on c-span2.
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to tell you about our live coverage, on c-span at 1:15, will take you to the pentagon to hear from event secretary chuck hagel and the chairman of the joint chiefs. later on at 2:00, a discussion looking at the civil war in syria, specifically, how charities and individuals in the gulf region are helping to finance syria's rebel forces. that is 2:00 from the brookings institution. >> if you are a student, steenkamp video cognition wants to know what is the most important issue congress should address next year. include c-span programming for your chance to win the grand prize of $5,000. $100,000 in total prizes. the deadline is january 20. get more info at studentcam.org. >> i was a donor to martha's table, like so many of your viewers. i would do the annual
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consideration of the things that we care about, because they were important to us as we grew up issues that we cared about, they match our broader police, but the players in our community who we saw doing good work every take. martha's table delivered hot meals to the little park outside tes bill and melinda ga d.c. office, and i would see the ight, and i knew it was volunteer driven, 10,000 volunteers, 80 hard-working staff, and that they had enormous influence in the community they were serving. that was a great brand. i thought, why wouldn't i join that organization, see if i can put my skills to work, but also see if i can understand that or why do we have this issue persistent child party? children have so many
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who are not graduating high school, going on to college, and being able to attach to careers the way i was able to? >> the ceo of martha's table on meeting the washington, nonprofit. about pentagon briefing 45 minutes away. a conversation from "washington from this morning. host: we are joined at the table by senator tom coburn, republican from oklahoma, here to talk about his newest addition of the waste book which he has put out for the last several years. you are also a member of the select intelligence committee on capitol hill. we want to get your take on the recommendations from the panel on reining in the nsa that came out yesterday. what do you make of those
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recommendations and what do you think congress and the president can do with them? guest: we have been busy. i haven't thoroughly studied that. i will look at the recommendations. i don't agree there should be a civilian director. there is too much coordination. i have sat on this committee for 3 1/2 years. what is in the press is oftentimes erroneous, but you can't state that it is erroneous without compromising other things. senator feinstein and senator chambliss are often powerless to correct things that are in the media. the second thing i would say is that a lot of what is put out, from what mr. snowden has put out, is erroneous, but you can't say how it is erroneous without compromising our own national security.
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i think some mistakes have been made. there is no question about that. this is one of the most thoroughly oversighted agencies. two hours a week i spend time in a closed review oversighting this agency. agency. having the inside knowledge of what they have done, how they have helped secure this country without violating privacy rights of americans -- host: do you think that is panel that was put together was the right group of people -- advisory panel that was put together with the right group of people? guest: i don't want to cast judgment on that. i am pretty much known as an independent thinker. i lean more towards the libertarian side.
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i am not real worried about what nsa has been doing based on what i have seen and the protections that have been put in place to protect civil liberties through what they have done. we live in a very different world today than we did 10 or 15 years ago. i am not for giving away our freedoms to give ourselves protection. but they have been reined in significantly, but have also done a very effective job. host: one of your other efforts for the past several years has been to put together the waste book, as you call it. calling out wasteful government spending. the waste book tallied some $30 billion in wasteful, unnecessary government spending. that is the highest total of any of your previous waste books. was this a particularly bad year or was the waste just easier to
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find? guest: oh -- i would be careful with the numbers. the last one was $25 billion. we are spending money on things we don't have on things we don't absolutely need. that was interesting hearing your last conversation on bernanke. bernanke did not have any help from the u.s. congress. we have a monetary policy, that is what the fed can do, but there was no positive fiscal policy from the u.s. congress. same thing goes for the spending. administrations can do so much. but if the congress is not going to oversight what the administration is doing, isn't going to be specific when they write legislation, isn't going to expose waste through an oversight hearing and holding people accountable, then you are going to continue to have it. host: if people want to see the
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waste book itself, you can find that at coburn.senate.gov. is this book meant for members of congress? guest: it is for both. last year we said these are some real problems. a lot of people will disagree with me on whether that is appropriate spending. you cannot disagree that in a time when we are borrowing $750 billion those things can't be a priority. host: what are the things you highlight? guest: a study to a yale professor for $400,000 to assess the intellectual capabilities of tea partiers. the whole purpose behing that
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study was to show the people who are constitutional conservatives don't have the intellectual capacity that other people have. the study surprised because they're smarter on average than the average voter. and that is funding through nsf. there was a political purpose to it. if you're going to do that, then do it with private money. that is all borrowed money. the $30 billion in this thing is borrowed money. we are borrowing it against our future. the question is maybe it is a good thing to study that, but if it is, if we have to borrow money to study it right now, when we are in trouble as a nation, should we be doing that now? let's say you of a completely different political philosophy than i do and you think we are -- ought to look at that.
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should we look at it now? when we are borrowing the money to do it? or should maybe we wait and have some judgment and maybe not spend money on somewhat questionable things, especially in light of that they could be challenge from a political perspective. maybe we ought not to spend the money until we get our house in order. host: you bring up the government shutdown as one of the big wastes. talk about the waste you see in the government shutdown. guest: you didn't have to shut it down, one. you ended up paying $300 million to federal employees for not working. you paid them anyway. the varying amounts of money we are showing here would have kept it from shutting down. $30 billion is half of what the sequester was per year -- on the discretionary budget. if congress would do their job and create an expectation that you will not get away with spending money stupidly or frivolously or not following up,
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you would change spending habits. the $30 billion outlined in here -- you would not have to have a government shutdown. host: who puts together the waste book? guest: my staff. we are constantly -- this is not hard to do. compiling it at the end is what is hard to do, to make sure you have no errors. the last third of it is nothing but footnotes and references where we got the information and with the basis of it is. the hard part is not collecting the information, but put it out there were people don't think you are totally being -- have a biased source. everything is sourced and legitimately so. this is a third of what we could have put out. host: we will be going through specific examples from the waste book for about the next 40
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minutes or so on the "washington journal." if you want to call and ask him about the waste book and have some thoughts on it, he is here to answer your questions and talk about it. jesse in virginia beach, virginia. republican line. caller: hello, senator. guest: good morning. caller: on 9/11, building seven was not hit by a plane. would you be willing to meet with and review the evidence about the controlled demolition
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-- host: we will try to stick to the waste book question. guest: we will look at that. i will not spend a lot of time meeting with people. we will certainly look at it. host: julie from los angeles, california. good morning. caller: good morning. hi, senator coburn. when you are doing senate hearings, i found your interactions were particularly memorable. what were your impressions? and i'm loving the goatee. guest: they are brilliant people. unlike most supreme court justices, sometimes i agree with what they are doing and sometimes i don't. i don't think it really matters. the questions you hear are really interesting as they hear cases.
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that comes from the fact that they are both interesting individuals. i think they're doing fine. judgment which coincides with justice -- if you have open and clear judgment and it is willing to look at the constitution and look at the stare decisis and the facts of the case and it is done out in the open, essentially with a hearing before the justices -- one of the things i would like to say to the supreme court is documentation of their meetings as they decide these cases behind closed doors so that we can have more insight into what the discussions were before we see the opinion and dissenting opinion.
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host: how do you feel about having cameras? guest: i think cameras and courts are terrible. just like cameras in the house have caused all sorts of acting out, just the same as the senate. people look at the camera, the don't look at each other. i believe courts ought to be open, we ought to hear it. i am not a big fan, because of what i have seen happen in courts, i don't even like court tv because of all the theatrics that go on. host: we are talking about your waste book this morning. put out earlier this week. is there one specific example in here that particularly hooked you or surprised you? guest: there's always one or two. i don't like it when you see stuff done for political
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purposes the the agencies. host: is that like the funding? guest: what we ought to be is very careful to make sure we are not trying to make a judgment about political philosophy. is this a study we need to know? and what value is it? and is there a bias -- in that are you trying to get a certain outcome? sometimes at nih and nsf you see that. the things that bother me are poor decision-making that never gets held accountable. we have $677 million spent on airplanes that we will not use. they went to arizona to the bone year after they came off the
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factory line. the person who made that decision did not get fired. not held accountable. the people that make the decisions -- they are not held accountable. the companies that provide things to the federal government who don't perform, we do not take them to court. we spent $300 million on a blimp for warfare observation. an army blimp that flew one time in new jersey, not afghanistan. it did not meet the requirements so we sold it back to the manufacturer for $300,000. who made the decision to do that? who is held accountable? what general in the pentagon was forced to retire? we never hold people accountable in the federal government. they coast. we do not hold individuals
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accountable or the contractors who don't deliver. some numbers -- the federal government spends over $80 billion a year on i.t. $80 billion. it's estimated when you take all the gao and ig reports and the contracts that are over -- that are high risk by gao, it is estimated that over half of everything we spend every year on i.t. gets thrown away. $40 billion. that is more than everything in this book -- just on i.t. in the federal government. that's because we don't hold people accountable. the administration did not do it, congress does not do it. the number one problem is congress. host: many members of congress is really awaiting publication of the waste book each year.
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this is the fourth year you have done it. here is a tweet from senator rand paul. calling out the $65 million in hurricane sandy relief money spent on television ads promoting tourism in new york and new jersey. #wastebook. talking with senator coburn about his wastebook. he's calling out $30 billion in spending listed in the waste book. jonathan from georgia on our line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. my comment is actually -- it is on the oversight of the nsa. i think it applies to waste as well. i look at it -- it is always a case of the fox guarding the henhouse. it is an issue of public trust. when you look at the nsa spying abuse, i look at this close to previously dealing with -- it
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was not until the break-in and the fbi that we discovered the abuse. then you had the church commission to actually look further. i think similarly to the nsa scandal, you had the snowden affair which exposed wrongdoing. you had clapper come on and lie to the american people. i think those recommendations coming out should be looked at closely. i think it requires some type of church commission. on the waste part, i think it is the public trust level of our government. congress and senate and the president, of course, is at an all-time low. they are saying trust us to oversight ourselves. host: james on twitter writes in. we are spending $50 billion a year on snooping on americans. are we getting our money's worth?
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guest: that number is not accurate. i think the independent caller made a great point. we do have a crisis of confidence in our country. that is based on lack of effective leadership. both by the president, the house, and the senate. why would you think we are doing -- would you think we are doing why would we be at 6% approval looking at what we have done? the senate majority leader -- it is way too high. you have to have been living in a hole or known nothing about the u.s. senate to think we should have a 6% approval rating. the fact is the senate was designed by our founders to force compromise, to build consensus,
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to not react to the public pull, to think long-term. we have had leadership in the last 8 years that has gone counter to that. that has made it partisan, non- compromise, nonconsensus, and nonreactive to the needs of the country. it has been almost 5 years since the president signed an appropriation bill. we do not have to want to take a vote. it is the most cowardice thing to do, to not put bills on the floor. we are now running the senate. you cannot get an amendment or offer a solution. there will be a defense authorization bill today, $700 billion worth of authorization. over half of our discretionary spending. there will not be one amendment offered to it?
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the pentagon cannot even report back as the constitution requires how they spent their money? we are not going to do anything about it? we have all this waste in the pentagon -- duplication and incompetence. that?not going to do host: on the subject of doing something, let's talk about what you do when you call out the $30 billion in waste in the wastebook. robert on twitter. senator coburn does this to stir up the tea party. why don't you fix it? guest: i cannot convince my colleagues who are members of committees and chairmen to do the hard work of oversight. if that gentleman will recall, we used to do earmarks. somebody offered at amendment to eliminate the bridge to nowhere. that was me. it was a planned strategy to involve the public in what is going on so they will force change.
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two years ago, we did away with earmarks, not because career politicians wanted to get rid of them, but because the american people were demanding it. the whole idea is to create such disgust with the stupidity of members of congress that the american people will demand change. i cannot convince them. i could not do it after nine years. i cannot get the leadership to do what they need to do. to actually fulfill their constitutional duty of oversight and transparency. host: have there been smaller victories? you called out excessive printing costs. guest: it is not going to change until americans demand that their member of congress start doing what they were sent to do. i would tell you there are a few of them that do. the number one goal is to get
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reelected, not to preserve the republic, not to make sure we do not waste money. we give stuff to committee chairmen and ranking members to do stuff, nothing happens. 3 1/2 years ago, i attached an amendment that forced the gao to study every aspect of government. we have now had three reports and will have a fourth one this year. it is over $250 billion worth of duplication and waste per year in the federal government. what they have given us already. only one time in 3 1/2 years has one committee done anything about this gao recommendations. it was the labor workforce committee in the house that consolidated 47 training programs into 19. they only had authority over 36. the senate has not done anything. no other committee has acted on
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any of the gao recommendations that would have saved us hundreds of billions of dollars a year because we are more interested in perception and politics than we are the policy and the future of our country. americans should be disgusted with us. i cannot believe the 6%. nobody is doing their job and there is no leadership to get this country out of trouble. host: we're talking with senator tom coburn, republican of oklahoma, member of the government affairs and senate intelligence committee. author of the wastebook, the subject of our conversation this morning. that was published this week. joe in georgia on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. i have been calling in to c-span for 30 years, tom coburn is a hero. i think the only answer is to
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elect more people like you and ted cruz. i am a member of the tea party. we have amy cramer coming down to be on my television show. we have a guy running for governor just like you. he is running against the incumbent governor. he is a champion just like you. the only answer is to elect super taxpayer champions like you and ted cruz. what do you think? guest: i do not vote for people who are career politicians anymore, i do not care what party. i do not think you fix washington by sending people up here to fix it. i think the states have to restrict the power of the federal government. it is out of control. we need a convention of the states and we need to rein in the power of the government. we need term limits in congress.
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we need to limit the authority of the executive branch. regulations that have major impact on the economy that do not have any basis in science but have a basis in political philosophy. there is a lot of things the states could do if they had a convention to limit the federal government. going back historically, if you read madison, jefferson, if you read our founding fathers, we are so far away from their principles of a limited federal government and the authority of the states in relationship to the power of the federal government, we need a big change. i am convinced you are not going to fix it with career politicians. host: how many term limits do you think a member of the house and the senate should serve? guest: a max of two terms in the senate and three terms in the house.
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i am in my 10th year in the senate. that is plenty. host: you served in the house before that. guest: i never intended to come back up here. this place is sick. there is nothing but circular information in washington and very few fresh ideas because it is all handed off to someone else. limiting terms give you freedom to do and be who you think we ought to be, rather than continuing to look to get reelected. there are two countries in the eyes of washington. the washington country and then the country outside of washington. we are not served well by what we have going on in washington today as a nation. host: mitchell from tennessee on our line for democrats. you are on with senator coburn.
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caller: good morning. guest: i am doing well, how is chattanooga? it is a pretty part of the country. caller: it is beautiful down here. a couple questions -- you are talking about spending. i don't see why you can't look at loopholes as spending -- guest: i do. tax expenditures are nothing but earmarks in the tax code. $1.2 trillion, i was on the bowles-simpson commission and recommended eliminating many of those. caller: you guys have to do that. the second thing, do you know the difference between enlisted pay and officers' pay? why would you take money from an enlisted man? i was down there for years, i never saw officers relieve me. i was shoveling coal.
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we had a hard time down there. i spent 15 years and you want to tell me what i did is not worth it? guest: i do not understand what you are saying. i voted against the bill yesterday, i will vote against this one that will impact retiree's pay. i am on the other side of that. you may have me confused with somebody else. caller: i thought i had seen your name as voting for it. guest: no, sir. host: we will go to spartanburg, south carolina, on our line for independents. good morning. caller: good morning. senator coburn, i want to let you know that i appreciate what you are informing us about. i have always thought that it needed to be brought to the
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front. and dealt with. all this abuse. all this spending. it is like the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. i am 66 years old, retired. i do not even make $1000 a month in social security and that is what i live on. you always have to have a policy along with your regular medicare, on and on. i tried to keep myself above water. i just applaud you, senator, to gnash because, for you to have -- andrage and two, on for you to come on and let us know about wasteful spending. i have been watching c-span for many years.
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i respect the stuff that they let people -- senators come on and speak about. i am so discouraged. i love our country, but i am really discouraged that we are going down a path. it is like the whole is getting deeper -- the hole is getting deeper and i am afraid we are getting very. -- buried under. guest: we do not have one problem in front of us that is not fixable. but until you take it out of the hands of the politicians here today -- republican and democrat -- that play a game with the american people. until you put leadership and that says i do not care what happens to the party, i care what happens to this country. i will make the choices best for the country, not my party. i will speak the words that people do not want to hear because they need to be said. until you have that kind of
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leadership, we will not fix our country. what i would tell you is 80% of what you hear from washington is a lie. spoken by both parties. it is half truths. a half-truth is a whole lie. we continue to see people not wanting to embrace the truth, the facts of the situation. they rationalize everything so they can look better as a politician. politicians in america have failed this country right now. they are celebrating bipartisanship. that was a deal about politicians, not about the country. it was good for the politicians. you're not going to have that conflict. we are going back on our word on spending, we put some things in the bill that do not make any sense in terms of asking some people to sacrifice -- like wounded and injured veterans. we are wasting $80 billion a
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year out of medicare just on fraud. because we will not hold agencies accountable. put in the system that the rest of the industry has and we cannot force it. we do not have an executive at hhs that knows what they are doing in terms of improving things. we have failed. the american people need to reject the status quo of the politicians here today. host: talking about votes this week. you voted no on the budget bill that was passed last night. you said i will vote no again today. the national defense authorization act. why are you voting no. guest: we will never fix the problems at the pentagon without structural change. put some teeth into something that will force them to report numbers. in the constitution it says every year you should get an
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account for the treasury of how you spent your money. the pentagon has not ever done that. they have no idea where they are spending their money. what i can tell you from my business background. every other successful business if you cannot measure what you are doing, you cannot manage it. you have never seen such incompetent management. why would you buy $700 million worth of planes and put them in the desert. why would you buy a blimp that does not work. the way you get rid of a trillion dollar deficit is $1 billion at a time. they waste $100 billion a year at the pentagon. they do not know where they are spending their money and how effectively they are spending their money. you look at the major weapons systems, they do not know how to buy weapons systems. our high-risk list is unbelievable. we have a carrier -- nobody would believe what is going to cost, the gerald r ford.
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f-35's that are way over budget. they are coming down, but they are still going to cost two times or three times what they were projected to cost. incompetency because there is no adult in the room and no control of buying something before you know what you want. we need to make real changes at the pentagon. you have people who are authorizing this who do not want real changes. they like the status quo. host: stella on twitter. i do not always agree with him, but i know he would be a great president. any interest? guest: my frustration is high enough. it is time for me to go home before i get in real trouble. i have done and been where i am going to be. host: senator coburn's fourth wastebook. you can see that on his website, coburn.senate.gov.
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you can look through that report of about 100 different examples of waste and unnecessary spending by the government. ken from georgia on our line for republicans. caller: senator coburn, glad to see you on the program. i have seen you on the other programs, on fox, discussing your latest edition of government waste. as you mentioned, i was just watching a program where there is a move afoot to have an amending constitutional convention of where the states' legislatures have to put forth the idea of amending the constitution. this would be to get term limits. i agree, at one time i did not
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believe that was the solution. but i am convinced, as you have expressed numerous times, that that should be the case. term limits would help get people to be more responsible and to get the career politicians out. one point. hopefully you would not leave until that is passed. you are a reasonable voice, one of the few in the government. your quote, i have used it talking to some people. "we are spending money we do not have for things we do not need." that is a good quote for a book on money makeover for individual families. host: ken brings up the idea of term limits. on twitter, what will term limits do if new members still have to take high dollar money
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to get elected? guest: if money is the corrupting influence -- money is not the corrupting influence in washington. if you can buy my vote for a dinner, you have already sent the wrong person. it is going to take less and less money, not more and more money. as leaf which campaigns to social media which are less expensive -- as we switch campaigns to social media, which are less expensive. you get people here who do not know what you cannot do. if you look at what is happening -- most people who come to washington their first time have a history of being in elected office. 70% of the senate is career politicians. their whole career has been in
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the political arena. what our country needs -- we do not need another career politician. we need people with real-world experience to have been through the school of hard knocks. who have made mistakes and made things right and who can make a judgment of their experience and apply it to problems in front of the country. instead of the conflict, which is natural, it does not mean they are bad people. the natural conflict of how do i stay here and advance my career. that is in contrast in conflict with what is in the best interest of the country. i am term limit, i have term limited myself. i am going home. there is no positive benefit. you need more people who do not know the system who do not buy into the biases of the political elite. they come here and say that will not be the case. use their wisdom and their experiences to apply to our problems.
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host: a few minutes left with tom coburn of oklahoma and author of the wastebook. mark from california on our line for democrats. good morning. caller: good morning. i am a disabled vietnam veteran. i have seen a lot of fraud and abuse in the va system. they say it is the best health care system we have. that is a lie. most of the stuff that comes out of washington is a big lie. we have been fed a lie. we need to get money out of politics. until we do that, our government is broken. everybody is on the take. except for a very few, i do not know. i just wanted --
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guest: a couple of points, they are not on the take. what they are on is how do i make sure i get to stay here. and my career is more important than the country. that causes more poor decision- making. the second point is why should a veteran, disabled or not, be forced to go to a va system rather than wherever they want? va health care -- in some places it is great, in some places it stinks. i would give veterans the right to go wherever they want. you served our country, you are service connected, you go where you want and we pick up the tab. if you want to go to the va, great. if you want to get care somewhere else, you should.
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we create competition and make the va better than what we see today in many places. that will give veterans a choice. they fought for freedom, why shouldn't they get freedom to choose their health care? i proposed that for a long time, i cannot seem to make it work. host: we want you to talk about specific examples from this year's wastebook. one that stood out was paying for a study that had people lying in beds for 70 days. guest: that is a nasa study. paying people to see where the physiological effect of being in a headdown position. that is what they should have their astronauts doing. they should put the very people they are going to be putting through this. that's why they hire people. we take 10 people or 12 people and pay them $18,000 for six months to lie flat. let's do that to the guys in the
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program rather than contract out. i am questioning why you would not have the very guys who are going to be your flyers doing that. host: over your four editions of the wastebook, how many examples have you been able to retire from the book? guest: 20 -- host: out of 400? guest: what we have done is prevent more of the same. nsf pays a lot more attention to what we are saying, nih pays attention. the military does not pay any attention. they probably have not even seen the wastebook, they do not even care. it is such a convoluted mess of priorities. the state department spent $5 million to buy crystalware. whether we need it or not, we
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spent $5 million. what could that do for education of inner-city schools? we are out of control. host: richard from philadelphia, pennsylvania on our line for independents. you're on with tom coburn of oklahoma. caller: thank you, senator coburn for your wastebook. i appreciate the information. the comment on nsa. i agree with the other caller about the conflict of confidence that exists and has always existed. i wonder about the technology, the development that gives this type of intrusion. not through the government for security purposes, being inundated in our society. i am concerned about that. host: senator coburn? guest: he is right to be concerned.
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one of the things i have told my staff and i am going to do -- i am not going to carry a cell phone. i will not have a blackberry. too much technological capabilities to invade my privacy. there is no guarantee someone has not -- it does not have to be the government -- the fact is that if you want your privacy that, you have got to get rid of the electronics, the mobile devices. somebody, somewhere -- not the government -- google or facebook, we just saw a deal yesterday where facebook can see what you're typing. and not necessarily on facebook. i think he is right to be concerned with this modern method of communication.there comes a lot of vulnerabilities. we have demonstrated irresponsibility.
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one of the things that is dangerous for a republic is for people to lose confidence. lose confidence in the government's auspices, lose confidence in the rule of law. that is how you get the unwinding in a republic. people want us to address the real problems rather than play games. we are real -- in real trouble in terms of leadership. it will want us to address this. too often, we play games. our motivations tend to be about us. host: senator coburn, author of the fourth edition of the wastebook. you can see it at coburn.senate.gov. we appreciate you coming. we are live-span, at the pentagon for the briefing is afternoon with defense secretary chuck hagel, and the chairman of the chiefs of staff,
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martin dempsey. it should get underway shortly. there will be another -- a number of issues, including the defense authorization bill, which continues to be debated on the floor. the senate has recessed emily back at it at 2:15 p.m. eastern. the bill includes over $80 billion for the war in afghanistan. the administration just issued a statement of support a little while ago. although the bill includes a limitations and will implement certain efficiencies, the administration supports passage of the legislation. the legislation is reporting this afternoon that they are frustrated with military supplies being shipped out of afghanistan. secretary hagel said they will take immediate action to solve
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the problem. questions about that as well. live coverage also coming up at about 2 p.m. eastern. a discussion at the brookings institution. they will be talking about the specific -- the civil war specifically. and how chaired ease in the gulf region are helping to finance syrian rebels. jay carney will report. that will be covered on our companion network, c-span3. that will be coming up at 2 p.m. eastern as well. here we are waiting to hear from secretary hagel and the chairman of the joint chiefs.
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complex waiting for the news conference to get underway. we have defense secretary hagel. yesterday, the chairman of the federal reserve ben bernanke held his news conference as chairman following the open market committee meeting. as wait for the defense secretary's news conference to get underway, we will get a recap of the fed chairman's news conference from this morning's "washington journal." host: joining us this morning, telling -- tell us about what this taper announcement meant. the fed for the last five years has been putting its foot
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on the gas pedal as far as it can go to try to stimulate the economy. we went through an incredible recession in 2007, 2008, and 2009. the fed was able to arrest the decline in part through an initial round of bond buying, essentially printing money out of thin air so it could purchase bonds at lower interest -- and lower interest rates as a result. helping people to buy houses, cars, other assets on credit. seen asis being -- is having done a reasonably good job of arresting decline after failing to catch the crisis in the first place. it has been a very long road november, time in 2008, when the fed first lowered interest rates almost to zero and started the bond buying. now in its third round of on buying, qe3, quantitative easing is what it's called. the fed has been doing this since september of 2012.
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that's a long time to be printing $85 billion a month to go out and find -- by bonds. how or when it would end. ben bernanke has been the central bank from us eight years in his current role as chairman. he was able to forge a sense is on the committee and pull back the bond buying program just a bit. it is called tapering. it means the fed is slowing the pace of its purchases. instead of $85 billion a month, it starting next month it will be $75 billion. and the plan throughout the year is to gradually scale that back by $10 billion per month, eventually getting down to zero at the end of 2014. the fed, of course, will keep interest rates very low. that is the other half of its decision that it came out with yesterday. it will keep the interest rate target near zero and at least through 2014. most likely into much of 2015. that is one thing that helped
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boost the stock market and send on dow up to a record wednesday after the decision came out. >> there was a lot of concern heading into that decision and when that tapering announcement was going to come. from the wallt street journal showing the dow jones industrial average write about 2 p.m. when that , startingnt happened to shoot up. and also reaction in the 10 year treasury yield. explain the trip -- the 10 year treasury yield line there. the bar whenrse, costs for the government, that is a benchmark rate -- the borrowing costs for the government, that is a benchmark rate for all sorts of parts of the economy. it is directly connected to mortgage rates. you can fall the yield and get a sense of what is going to happen with the mortgage rates. the 10 year yield was below two percent in the spring when the fed was fully moving on qe3,
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when it was buying all of these bonds with no end in sight. once it started discussing that back in april and may, started discussing it publicly, you could see the 10 year yield spiked up. we are now close to three percent. it is still in a starkly low level for treasury yields, for borrowing costs. but it is certainly higher. that has been a fairly rapid a fullent, to go for percentage point in just a matter of months. it is something that scared the fed quite a bit. the rapid run-up in rates, you could actually see the housing market cause a bit over the -- over the summer. some potential homebuyers decided to wait on the sidelines to see how this played out. and some businesses were wondering, along with others what this might mean to the recovery. ben bernanke was able to buy the time and at least start
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scaling back of that program at the end of his tenure. his -- up to to the next chairman, likely jenning ellen, to -- janet yellen, to pull that back. and essentially, raise interest rate, which will be another level of drama. >> you can see all of the conversation from this morning's "washington journal" online at www.c-span.org. ate on c-span, we are alive the pentagon waiting for the news conference to get underway with defense secretary chuck hagel and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general martin dempsey.
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>> we will be hearing shortly from defense secretary chuck hagel, and general martin dempsey, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. until then, our conversation
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from this morning's "washington journal" on possible changes to the tax code. we are joined for a discussion on the prospects of tax reform on capitol hill. mr. arnold, we will start with you. we are ending the year with at least a small victory on this bipartisan edged deal. do you think it is a sign of things to come? guest: maybe. the tricky part now is that with senator baucus being named the ambassador to china, that throws sand in the gears. host: that announcement coming just yesterday. guest: we will have the senator from the finance committee in the most important committee for tax purposes. next chairman will play a huge role in determining tax reform for the next year. has baucus been pushing
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for this safari e guest: chairman baucus has been the tax.r one pushing for he has had a great relationship .eaching across the aisle they have been traveling all over the country on a tax reform tour. they have become good friends. now we are entering into unknown territory. is the new chairman going to have a good relationship with the finance chairman? that remains to be seen. guest: they have done triptych work on the committees this year, and probably the most serious -- some terrific work on the committees this year, and probably most serious discussion on tax reform that we've seen in years. ,t is a very big list, though no matter what the personality is. and you talk about getting the rate down to 25%, or 30%, or more like 25% is what the house
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any, and not losing revenue. you end up having to pay for it by losing tax preferences. there are many things that could be reduced. no one has named any really big ones. if they are planning to reduce. the problems get very hard when you start doing that. host: even if senator baucus were to stick around, if he was not appointed to this job in china, it is still uphill. >> --guest: very hard job. host: what is the timing for when this might happen in 2014? guest: it is hard to say. the chairman has been ready to go for months and months. there have been other legislative issues that have popped up that have derailed tax reform at least temporarily. we will have to wait and see. the baucus announcement is probably going to delay things a little bit on the house side.
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host: how long does a process like this take? you say camp is ready to go. is this a years long process? are things pretty much teed up? guest: on the house side, things are pretty much teed up. they have been working for months and months postop like i said, they have been traveling across the country travel -- talking to real americans. they have been getting feedback from the citizenry, from nonprofits like my own. there are some folks on the ways and means committee and said they could produce a bill in the matter of weeks. forward to today, i think they are ready to go at the drop of a hat. host: what are the must do's of tax reform? there are no must use. there are many ways of doing tax reform. the system is broken in many ways. there are many things that could be fixed.
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effort to fix everything at once is going to be extremely difficult. representative can't, i'm not convinced they're ready to go. they need to start legislating. it is already 2014. i'm not saying they have not done great work. they have. getting the rates way down, i don't see any evidence that they are there. any evidence of preferences that would be closed in order to get there. it is not mean they cannot do some useful things. they have some -- there are some interesting ideas on corporate taxation, a bunch of things they could do with separate bills. but they are planning something much more ambitious.

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